Disclaimer: Mild language.
Yaw, I'm just going to be real with you. I've journaled, wrote a little (and a lot of nonsense) on draft blog posts the past two months, but none of it has been readable. My last post was on November 26, 2018. I've had every intention of posting at least once a month but the holidays happened then I got depressed for awhile. Life hasn't been super easy. When is it though?
I have a form of chronic depression called persistent depressive disorder aka PDD aka dysthymia. Unfortunately, dysthymia isn't a warm, sandy beached island in the Caribbean. It's like major depression's annoying little brother except PDD doesn't have the major depressive episodes where I can't get out of bed. (I'd like to say before I go on any further, in no way am I qualified to give medical advice.) I'm not going to write a whole article about dysthymia, the Mayo Clinic has already done that. You can read all the symptoms, treatments, etc. about it here. This is my personal experience.
There are times when I do have a depressive episode but I'm still functioning. I go to work, social gatherings, the mechanic, grocery shop, all the things that have to be done for us to pay bills and run a functioning household. Outwardly, I can smile on cue and act like I'm really invested in what you're saying when really on the inside, I don't. I feel numb. In hindsight, I really do care. In that very moment though I'm struggling to keep my shit together and not broadcast what's going on inside my head and heart.
Hiding is not because of shame. I just don't like to tell everybody my business until I have a handle on what's happening.
A fog that encircles me more days than not. If I'm having a good, super positive day, all it takes is for me to obsess on one negative thought and it's ruined.
How do I know I'm getting depressed or in a depressive episode? Time and becoming self aware. Grabbing my journal and asking myself "What am I feeling? Why am I feeling this way? What's causing it?" then vomiting it all onto the page. I've been in therapy on and off for five+ years and I take anti depressants. I've learned my triggers and am conscious of my body and mind through the work I've done in therapy and most importantly, God's guidance. If you are struggling and haven't been to a therapist or counselor, please find one and go. Sometimes we need a licensed professional to help us landscape the gardens of our mind to find the fungus that's killing the flowers.
Occasionally, my depression is obvious to me like thinking "I don't care" about everything, pissed off, short tempered.
But sometimes it's not so obvious. Looking back through my journal, I can see I was getting depressed and then I came to a point where something in my life needed to change. I was bored with driving the same route to work and the living room rug. So I made an appointment with my therapist and resisted the urge to put the rug in the closet.
As I write this paragraph, I'm having a really awesome day. Yesterday was awesome too. I've been upbeat, positive, productive, swatted the negative thoughts, guilt and perfectionism away. But it makes me scared that because I'm writing about my chronic depression that I'll jump back into the hole I'm currently sitting on the edge of. I want to write with emotion, to take your hand and bring you into that fog of everyday and have you walk through the muck of the worst days. What I'm saying is I want you to understand and for anyone else out there wondering "what is wrong with me?" that hey, you are not alone. Maybe some of what I said makes sense but because you're still getting up and cooking breakfast for the family, that you need to "get over this feeling".
No, you don't.
To put it very simplistic due to my own intelligence, there is an imbalance somewhere within your body and mind due to genetics, biochemical imbalances and/or environmental stresses. The same concept can be said for a broken leg, except the body is physically imbalanced. Ya can't just "shake" a broken leg. You could, but wouldn't that hurt like hell?
If you have any questions or comments for me, leave them below or send me a message through the Contact page.